Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has described Kano as a human rights-friendly state worthy of emulation by other states in the country.
Mr Ojukwu made the remarks when he led members of the NHRC Special Investigation Panel on Sexual and Gender-based Violence on a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje at the Government House, Kano on Monday.
The executive secretary, who noted that human rights protection and promotion were vital ingredients for sustainable democracy and development, said he was convinced by the records of human rights protection by the state government.
“While we appreciate what the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission is doing, we commend Governor Ganduje for doing very well in human rights protection,” Mr Ojukwu said.
“The choice of Kano for the siting of the special investigation panel of the commission was not by accident.
“While we were discussing which of the seven states in the North-West geopolitical zone should host the panel, we unanimously agreed to come to Kano.
“The choice of Kano is appreciatively deliberate,” he said.
Responding, Mr Ganduje attributed the successes which the state had recorded in the area of human rights protection to the contributions of the state anti-corruption commission.
He specifically commended the efforts and leadership of the commission under Muhuyi Rimin-Gado.
“While we appreciate his good work and those of his members of staff, we also give the commission free hand to operate.
“It is as a result of this approach that a serving commissioner lost his job after the commission had concluded its investigations.
“Also, some permanent secretaries and directors, among others, have lost their jobs due to the commission’s investigations.
“Out of the over 7,000 cases that were treated by the state Anti-Corruption Commission, more than 30 percent of them were human rights-related cases,” Mr Ganduje said.
According to him, his administration’s efforts in strengthening human rights-related agencies have boosted the state’s image in the face of human rights protection and promotion.
He said that the state government had established offices of the anti-corruption body in all the 44 local government areas of the state.
“All the offices were built; none of them was rented, because we want to run away from any form of intimidation from landlords.
“We have also equipped the state office with modern communication gadgets for smooth operations.
“Educating our children is another right that must be protected. That is why we have made primary and secondary education free and compulsory, because we believe that denying children from going to school is another form of rights deprivation.
“I am, therefore, calling on NHRC to delve into this and see that the rights of our children are not tampered with,” he said.
According to him, the state was taking stock of all the out-of-school children, adding “once we have all the statistics, we will swing into action.
Mr Ganduje said his administration had already notified parents and guardians that whoever hid his or her ward from going to school would be committing an offence.
“So, we want NHRC to, in the spirit of human rights protection of our children, come and join hands with us. The rights of our children must be protected,” he added.